Wirral Waters designated as Enterprise Zone

Wirral Waters The Wirral Waters project covers 500 acres of Birkenhead docklands

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The Wirral Waters project has been designated as one of 11 enterprise zones around the country.

The special status means tax breaks and planning rules will be cut back to attract new businesses and create jobs.

The scheme covers 500 acres of Birkenhead docklands which will be developed into offices, leisure and residential accommodation.

Leader of Wirral Council, Jeff Green, said it would "act as a catalyst for investment both sides of the river".

The government has promised to invest at least £100m in the zones before the next election.

'Rebalance economy'

Richard Mawdsley of Peel Holdings welcomes tax breaks for potential tenants

The Wirral Waters scheme is one of the UK's biggest regeneration plans and will include 15,000 new homes and the creation of 25,000 new jobs.

The proposals, which could take up to 40 years to fully complete, will see skyscrapers opposite Liverpool's waterfront.

Developer Peel Holdings intends to invest £4.5 billion in Birkenhead over the coming decades.

Councillor Green said: "Today's announcement by government represents a fantastic additional vote of confidence in the future of Wirral's economy.

"Wirral Waters is already an attractive investment opportunity but its designation as an enterprise zone will allow us to offer tax incentives in the first years of occupancy, which will give businesses locating on the site a great head start.

"This is particularly important for SMEs [small and medium enterprises] who have the potential to grow, help to rebalance our economy and deliver jobs for local people. "

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